I loved this book. It's like Sam Spade meets the Middle Ages. This first of the Crispin Guest series is set in London in 1384. Crispin is a disgraced ..Show More »knight who had had his lands, title, and money confiscated seven years earlier for participating in an attempt to crown John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, as King instead of the Duke's young and inexperienced nephew, Richard.
Lancaster is unaware of the attempted coup. The conspiracy fails, Richard is crowned King Richard II, and all of the conspirators except Crispin (thanks to the intercession of the Duke of Lancaster) are executed.
Crispin now lives in the Shambles in London - which is as poor a neighborhood as it sounds - along with a twelve year old purse cutter, Jack Tucker, whom he rescued from the streets of London. There are lots of twists and turns, and class consciousness-- by Crispin toward the dregs of society that he's now forced to live with and depend upon, and by Crispin's former friends who look down on Crispin because he's now a member of the lower class.
Parliament finally removed Richard as King and crowned Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, as King Henry IV, but not until 1399. Richard died in 1400 - possiblly murdered.
I liked this book so much I downloaded it to my Kindle so I can see how some of the words I didn't know are spelled.
The author skillfully weaves actual historical people and events with her story. As a history major, I loved it! Michael Page does a fine job narrating.
I've now listened to all five books in the series that are currently available on audible. The sixth book comes out 13 October 2013. I'll be waiting.
This is 2nd of an historical fiction series that was presented on audio in reverse order; but each book stands well on its own merit. Which says a lot..Show More » for any book that is part of a series these days.
This is a believable historical portrayal of Richard I era England, accompanying delightful characterizations in an intriguing adventure / mystery. There is action, a smattering of sex, a good deal of philosophy about the concept of "honor" in people of both noble and ordinary birth, all without too much agonizing over ideas when they can be shown in the deeds of the characters, from lowest to highest in the social order. There is also a sample (a bit too much for my taste) of the torture of victims of the royal jail, albeit realistic for the times. But the characters win the day, especially the "disgraced" and former knight, Crispin Guest, and his child side-kick, Jack (who provides a charming "Greek chorus", while being a good foil for our hero).
Overall enjoyable enough to make me want to hear the entire series. And the most excellent reading of Michael Page carries me along into these stories nicely!
This series just keeps getting better. I didn't realize that the Edict of Expulsion issued in 1290 banished Jews from England over usury. Jews could o..Show More »nly stay if they converted to Christianity , but many still worshipped in private. Oliver Cromwell overturned the Edict in 1657.
This time the hunt is on for missing parchments written in Hebrew. Young boys are being murdered and mutilated, possibly by a monster who was created using the missing parchments.
I love this series. As usual, Michael Page does a fine job narrating.
In this fourth book in the series, Crispin Guest and his apprentice, Jack Tucker, travel to Canterbury at the request of the Archbishop. This time th..Show More »e bones of Thomas a Beckett go missing, people start dropping like flies, and The Tracker (aka Crispin Guest) is on the hunt. But who is friend and who is foe? Another entertaining mystery in this medieval noir series set in the 1380s.
I love this series, and was thrilled to find that they decided to produce an audio edition of Blood Lance, but unfortunately they started out of seque..Show More »nce, but fortunately this novel can stand alone. Once again Jeri Westerson takes you there, to the mean streets of 14th century London. It is one of her strengths and it is one of the things I have come to respect about her writing.
In Blood Lance, Crispin (a disgraced knight, who is making his living as a tracker, aka sleuth,) is his usual self, a sucker for a pretty face and honorable to a fault. I don’t think I will be spoiling too much since Ms. Westerson has blogged about exploring PTSD within this story line, and I think she did a marvelous job showing that this could not have been a phenomenon of modern warfare.
Jack is back as Crispin’s mother hen, and side kick. I truly love their relationship. There are great twists and turns, and I thought I had everything figured out, but as usual the final twist proved me wrong. There is a great jousting sequence and I think it was very well imagined and written. Chaucer is back, and keeps you wondering just who he serves.
Michael Page is a wonderful narrator his character’s voices are distinct and easy to follow. 4.5 stars